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'I want to build India starting from Amethi'

Last updated on: May 05, 2014 20:53 IST

'I want to build India starting from Amethi'

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Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the Gandhi family as he campaigned for his ‘sister’ Smriti Irani in Amethi. In his hour-long speech, he told people that he would bring about change and help people realise their dreams.

Taking the battle straight to the Gandhi stronghold, the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi stormed Amethi on Monday and attacked ‘family politics and said he had come to the area not ‘for revenge’ but for ‘change’ in this backward area.

Campaigning for his ‘sister’ Smriti Irani, he rejected the Congress vice-president’s charge that he practised ‘politics of anger’. “I have not come here for revenge. I have come here to bring about a change in this constituency, which has been neglected by the Gandhi family despite representing it for 40 years. You just invoke family relations with the people here but do nothing for its development,” said BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, adding, "I have to develop the country, but first I have to start with Amethi. People tell me to stop ABCD. I want to start with A for Amethi."

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Image: BJP's Narendra Modi arrived at Amethi amid much cheering and chants.
Photographs: Narendra Modi's official webpage

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'Smriti is not just a celebrity, she's an achiever'

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Modi said he purposely chose Smriti for Amethi because it is among the least developed places in Uttar Pradesh. “People here are asking for just basics -- water, electricity, toilets... you are not asking for a Mercedes car or a trip to the United States,” he said.

Modi added, “Smriti is not just a celebrity, she is an achiever,” he said, further adding, “Make my kid sister stand against all the Gandhis, and ask her the names of villages in Amethi. She will be able to tell you the names of 100 villages, the Gandhis put together can only recite the names of 10 villages.” 

"Amethi happens to be the most backward. Now, I have decided to change Amethi completely in 60 months. People from other universities will come for case studies," he said, adding that in 2019, he will revisit the constituency to enlist the developments that would take place.

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Image: Modi campaigned for Smriti Irani, who is facing off against Rahul Gandhi.
Photographs: Twitter

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Modi slams Rahul's 'politics of anger'

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Hitting back at Rahul bhaiyya over his ‘politics of anger’ charge against him, Modi said such politics was the domain of ‘arrogant’ Congress.

In this context, he said Rajiv Gandhi, then Congress general secretary, had once publicly ‘abused’ and ‘humiliated’ the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister T Anjaiah at airport. Anjaiah was the CM between 1980 and 1982.

The BJP leader also raked up the unceremonious removal of Sitaram Kesri as the Congress president in 1998 as ‘Madam Sonia Gandhi’ was angry against him and wanted to take over the reins of the party.

Modi also mentioned the treatment meted out by Sonia Gandhi to P V Narasimha Rao, saying, “When he passed away, he was treated like Bahadur Shah Zafar and denied even a small piece of land for his cremation in Delhi.”

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Image: Thousands of people gathered to watch the BJP leader and chanted his name during the speech.
Photographs: Modi's official webpage

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'You can take out your anger on me'

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While listing the examples of ‘anger’ of Congress leaders, he referred to an incident last year when Rahul publicly termed as ‘nonsense’ a decision of the Union Cabinet on an ordinance and said it should be torn. The BJP leader said that by this act, Rahul had publicly ‘humiliated’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh besides the Union Cabinet.

He said he had been at the receiving end of Congress’ anger. Taking a dig, he said, “Four days are still left; take out your anger on me as much you can.”

He also took a swipe at Sonia Gandhi, saying he “understands the worry of the mother”. “For the last 10 years, she has been trying to see that her son settles down. But when it looks like her effort is being wasted, she is feeling worried.”

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Image: Modi supporters came out in large numbers and listened as he spoke for more than an hour.
Photographs: Twitter

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'My honour is in your hand'

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Concluding his speech minutes before the campaign ended in the constituency which will witness polling on May 7, he said he has not come here to ‘trouble Rahul Gandhi. He is already a troubled soul.’ He added “time has come to snap the relationship between the family and the constituency. People here have been cheated.”

Attacking Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, he said, “You have committed sins. For 40 years, you have cheated three generations whose lives have been destroyed and their dreams shattered... I have come here to turn your dreams as mine, to convert your pain into mine.”

Modi alleged that Sonia and Rahul never thought a 'son of a poor mother' and 'tea-vendor' would challenge them.  "Is it a crime to be born in a poor family. Is it a crime to sell tea? They made me a criminal. But I can assure you that good days will come," he said. Trying to strike an emotional chord, Modi said his pride lies in the hands of the people of Amethi. "My honour is in your hand... pride of a servant, a son of a poor mother... a tea vendor's pride," he said, adding that worried if he lost, he would go back to selling tea. "People in the Congress ask where will Modi go if he loses? Don't worry, I have my kettle ready to make tea."

The campaigning by Modi in Rahul’s constituency was significant as no top leader usually undertakes electioneering in the constituency of top rivals. 

 


Image: BJP flags and workers were seen in a large number around the rally area.
Photographs: Twitter

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